Just outside the city – any city, every city – is a grand, spacious but affordable apartment building called The Beresford.
There’s a routine at The Beresford.
For Mrs May, every day’s the same: a cup of cold, black coffee in the morning, pruning roses, checking on her tenants, wine, prayer and an afternoon nap. She never leaves the building. Abe Schwartz also lives at The Beresford. His housemate Smythe no longer does. Because Abe just killed him. In exactly sixty seconds, Blair Conroy will ring the doorbell to her new home and Abe will answer the door. They will become friends. Perhaps lovers.
And, when the time comes for one of them to die, as is always the case at The Beresford, there will be sixty seconds to move the body before the next unknowing soul arrives at the door. Because nothing changes at The Beresford, until the doorbell rings…
Eerie, dark, superbly twisted and majestically plotted, The Beresford is the stunning standalone thriller from one of crime fiction’s most exciting names.
The sun may have been shining when I sat and read The Beresford but it didn’t appear to reach the formidable building of The Beresford. It’s walls encapsulated a dark and foreboding force, a litany of characters and the indomitable Mrs May, Carvers caretaker, the conduit to which everything and all flowed through.
Not for Carver an elderly lady who sat meekly in a chair knitting, no Mrs May was your wine swigging matriarch, a woman who prayed, no heckled to god to bend the actions of others to her will. Carver made me feel as if she could see into the souls of her tenants, to know what they needed long before they did.
Abe, the loner, the quiet one, the longest resident until one meeting, one explosive action and no longer the man he thought he was.
Blair, the escapee from suffocating god fearing parents, hell bent on living her own life.
Gail, another escapee this time from an abusive husband, and Aubrey, intent on making her own mark in business.
In a way they were all fleeing something, hopeful of finding something better but Carver wasn’t going to let that stop him spoiling the party. It seemed as soon his characters stepped through the doors an unseen force took over their minds, their thoughts their actions. It was if the characters reverted to an alter ego, their opposite in temperament, there was cold blooded murder that was definitely not for the squeamish, and I learnt more of how to get rid of body parts then I have read in any other novel. Thanks for that Mr Carver!
A pattern emerged, a case of one out and sixty seconds later another tenant/victim through the door, would something or anyone break the cycle, would anyone escape the clutches of The Beresford?
I felt Carver was trying to relay something more that just a story, religion a major theme, the hold it can have over us, the utter belief that everything is God’s will. Yet Carver challenged that through his characters, Blair’s mother the prime example. The most hardcore believer until tragedy as Carver made her question her religious fervour, a God who did nothing to save the people she loved. There was the almost yelling, screaming prayers of Mrs May to a God you thought should have been the devil, in fact I did wonder if Mrs May was actually the devil in disguise.
Whatever your own personal thoughts, feelings, it did not detract from the novel, from the darkness, from Carver’s ability to push the boundaries, for his love for the quirky, unique outside of the box fiction that we have all come to admire and love.
I would like to thank Orenda Books for a copy of The Beresford to read and review and to Random Things Tours for inviting My Bookish Blogspot to participate in the blogtour.
About the author
Will Carver is the international bestselling author of the January David series. He spent his early years in Germany, but returned to the UK at age eleven, when his sporting career took off. He turned down a professional rugby contract to study theatre and television at King Alfred’s, Winchester, where he set up a successful theatre company. He currently runs his own fitness and nutrition company, and lives in Reading with his two children. Will’s latest title published by Orenda Books, Hinton Hollow Death Trip was longlisted for the Not the Booker Prize, while Nothing Important Happened Today was longlisted for the Theakston’s Old Peculiar Crime Novel of the Year and for the Goldsboro Books Glass Bell. Good Samaritans was a book of the year in Guardian, Telegraph and Daily Express, and hit number one on the eBook charts.